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9 Brutally Honest Confessions From Zayn Malik's First Solo Interview

The musician opened up about his new music, Perrie Edwards, and his reasons for leaving One Direction.

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Here are some of his most brutally honest confessions:

1. He almost didn't audition for The X Factor.

FADER

"If I was in control of me going to audition for X Factor, I would have never gone because I would have never got up on the day of the audition at four in the morning. The reason I woke up is because my mum came in the room and was like, ‘You have to go audition for this show.’ I felt like I had to do it because I owed it to her."

2. Larry Stylinson is definitely not a real thing – and neither are any of the other 1D ships.

FADER

“There’s no secret relationships going on with any of the band members ... It’s not funny, and it still continues to be quite hard for them. They won’t naturally go put their arm around each other because they’re conscious of this thing that’s going on, which is not even true. They won’t do that natural behaviour."

3. He was never 100% behind One Direction's "generic as fuck" sound.

FADER

"If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as fuck, so they could use that version ... I just wasn’t convinced with what we were selling. I wasn’t 100% behind the music. It wasn’t me. It was music that was already given to us."

4. He actually wanted to quit the band "from the beginning".

FADER / BuzzFeed

"I guess I just wanted to go home from the beginning ... I was always thinking it. I just didn’t know when I was going to do it. Then by the time I decided to go, it just felt right on that day. I woke up on that morning, if I’m being completely honest with you, and was like, ‘I need to go home. I just need to be me now, because I’ve had enough.’"

5. He didn't break up with Perrie via text...

FADER

"I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that. She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well. I don’t want to explain why or what I did, I just want the public to know I didn’t do that."

6. And the breakup wasn't his reason for leaving the band.

FADER / BuzzFeed

"Stories came out because we were in Thailand, and we were out and about. If we were out in Australia, if we were out in India, the same thing would have happened. It was just at a peak where the fame was intrusive and invasive. It wasn’t because of that that I left – that was just a contributing factor to everything. I’d already made my mind up before that."

7. He's been talking to Liam about collaborating on music outside of One Direction.

FADER

"He said that he didn’t understand it at the time, but he now fully gets why I had to do what I did. He understands that it’s my thing, that I had to do that ... and he wants to do some music and work on some stuff aside from being in the band, which we always wanted to do anyway."

8. When he was in the band, he wasn't making music that he personally enjoyed...

FADER / BuzzFeed

"That’s not music that I would listen to. Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t. To me, that’s not an insult, that’s me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that’s not music that I would listen to. I don’t think that’s an offensive statement to make. That’s just not who I am."

9. And he's happy to finally have creative control.

FADER

"To me, it’s like I stood in front of a canvas for about five years, and someone said like, ‘You’re not allowed to paint on this canvas.’ I’ve got the paint, I’ve got the fucking brushes, and I can’t get it on there. Now someone removed the plastic and was like, ‘Alright, you can now paint.’"

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